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Reaping What We Have Sown In Gaza

Reaping What We Have Sown In Gaza

What We Have Sown In Gaza

Those who turned Gaza into an internment camp for
1.8 million people should not be surprised when they
tunnel underneath the earth.

By Amira Hass

July 22, 2014 "
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I’ve already raised the white flag. I’ve stopped
searching the dictionary for the word to describe
half of a boy’s missing head while his father
screams “Wake up, wake up, I bought you a toy!” How
did Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Greater
Germany, put it? Israel’s right to defend itself.

I’m still
struggling with the need to share details of the
endless number of talks I’ve had with friends in
Gaza, in order to document what it’s like to wait
for your turn in the slaughterhouse. For example,
the talk I had on Saturday morning with J. from al-Bureij
refugee camp, while he was on his way to Dir al-Balah
with his wife. They’re about 60-years-old. That
morning, his aging mother got a phone call, and
heard the recording instructing the residents of
their refugee camp to leave for Dir al-Balah.

A book on
Israeli military psychology should have an entire
chapter devoted to this sadism, sanctimoniously
disguising itself as mercy: A recorded message
demanding hundreds of thousands of people leave
their already targeted homes, for another place,
equally dangerous, 10 kilometers away. What, I asked
J., you’re leaving? “What, why?” He said, “We have a
hut near the beach, with some land and cats. We’re
going to feed the cats and come back. We’re going
together. If the car gets blown up, we’ll die

If I were
wearing an analyst’s hat, I would write: In contrast
to the common Israeli hasbara, Hamas isn’t forcing
Gazans to remain in their homes, or to leave. It’s
their decision. Where would they go? “If we’re going
to die, it’s more dignified to die at home, instead
of while running away,” says the downright secular

I’m still
convinced that one sentence like this is worth a
thousand analyses. But when it comes to
Palestinians, most readers prefer the summaries.

I’m fed up
with lying to myself – as if I could remotely, by
phone, gather the information necessary to report on
what the journalists located there are reporting on.
Regardless, it’s information that is important to a
small group of the Hebrew-speaking population.
They’re looking for it on foreign news channels or
websites. They do not depend on what is written here
in order to hear, for example, about the short lives
of Jihad (11) and Wasim (8) Shuhaibar, or their
cousin Afnan (8) from the Sabra neighborhood in
Gaza. Like me, they could read the reporting of
Canadian journalist Jesse Rosenfeld

on The Daily Beast

Shuhaibar, the father of Jihad and Wasim, leaned on
a grave next to where his children were buried, his
eyes hollow, staring nowhere. His arm bore a
hospital bandage applied after he gave blood to try
to help save his family. His children’s blood still
covered his shirt,” writes Rosenfeld. “‘They were
just feeding chickens when the shell hit,’ he said.
‘I heard a big noise on the roof and I went to find
them. They were just meat,’ he gasped, before
breaking down in tears,” continued Rosenfeld’s
article. We murdered them about two and a half hours
after the humanitarian cease-fire ended last
Thursday. Two other brothers, Oudeh (16) and Bassel
(8) were wounded, Bassel seriously.

The father
told Rosenfeld that there was a warning missile.
Before the attack, they heard the humming of the
UAVs, the kind that “knock on the roof.” So I asked
Rosenfeld, “If the missile was one of our merciful
ones, those that come along as a warning, was the
house bombed afterward?” By chance, I found my
answer in a CNN report. The network’s camera managed
to catch the explosion that came after the warning:
knock, fire, smoke and dust. But it was a different
house that was bombed, not the Shuhaibar house. I
rechecked with Rosenfeld and others. What killed the
three children was not a Palestinian rocket that
went astray. It was an Israeli warning missile. And
Issam Shuhaibar himself is a Palestinian policeman
on the payroll of the Ramallah-based Palestinian

I’ve also
given up on trying to get a direct answer from the
Israel Defense Forces. Did you mistakenly warn the
wrong home, thus murdering another three children?
(Of the 84 that have been killed as of Sunday

I’m fed up
with the failed efforts at competing with the
abundance of orchestrated commentaries on Hamas’
goals and actions, from people who write as if
they’ve sat down with Mohammed Deif and Ismail
Haniyeh, and not just some IDF or Shin Bet security
service source. Those who rejected Fatah and Yasser
Arafat’s peace proposal for two states have now been
given Haniyeh, Hamas and BDS. Those who turned Gaza
into an internment and punishment camp for 1.8
million human beings should not be surprised that
they tunnel underneath the earth. Those who sow
strangling, siege and isolation reap rocket fire.
Those who have, for 47 years, indiscriminately
crossed the Green Line, expropriating land and
constantly harming civilians in raids, shootings and
settlements – what right do they have to roll their
eyes and speak of Palestinian terror against

Hamas is
cruelly and frighteningly destroying the traditional
double standards mentality that Israel is a master
at. All of those brilliant intelligence and Shin Bet
brains really don’t understand that we ourselves
have created the perfect recipe for our very own
version of Somalia? You want to prevent escalation?
Now is the time: Open up the Gaza Strip, let the
people return to the world, the West Bank, and to
their families and families in Israel. Let them
breathe, and they will find out that life is more
beautiful than death.


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